November 12, 2020

How to Migrate from WordPress.com to self-hosted WordPress.org

If given the choice, you should definitely migrate to a self-hosted WordPress.org site from WordPress.com.
It is actually something everyone should do, especially as hosts now provide a fully managed WordPress solution, and for less money.
There's a little initial investment, which is your hosting plan, apart from that, the costs are minuscule.  At Snappyhost.co.uk our WordPress plans start from just £3.99 a month (Even cheaper if you buy yearly).

Whats the Difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org

The main benefit from moving across to a WordPress.org provider is the freedom you receive to manage and install any plugins you wish from the WordPress.org repository.  To utilise additional plugins with WordPress.com, you need their top plans which is a lot more expensive than self-hosted WordPress and is still restricted.
Our team provide a fully free, quick and rapid migration service, which includes all your site files, emails and databases.  This comes with all of our plans.  See Our Hosting


If you want to do this yourself, then carry on reading.

Just before you shift WordPress.com to WordPress.org.

It's actually quite simple to move from wordpress.com to wordpress.org.  This all is completed within your WordPress Admin area and allows you to easily migrate your WordPress site from wordpress.com to WordPress.org (AKA self-hosted).

For the sake of this guide, we'll follow this process from the stages of an individual who's already bought into a WordPress host and owns a domain name. 

If you've not yet made the leap to get your hosting, then as suggested earlier, you can join our fully managed WordPress hosting plans, for just £1 for your first 3 months.
This article will only go through the most important tips and processes needed to migrate your wordpress.com site to wordpress.org. (It's a lot simpler than you think!)

If you get lost at any point, you may want to ask your host, as they're normally more than willing to assist! 

With that said let's get off the beaten track, and get onto the guide. 

1)Export an XML file containing your existing WordPress.com site files
2)Import your XML file into your new self-hosted WordPress.org website
3)Check your site for any type of errors, and make sure everything is as it should be.
4)Point your domain to your new wordpress.org site so your traffic is redirected. 

For more detailed steps read below:

Step 1: Export your existing WordPress.com web content.

Before you can use your site on your wordpress.org (Self-hosted WordPress site) you'll need to export your content from your current WordPress.com site.

This is all done directly via your WordPress admin area, so it's a straightforward process.

To begin with, you need to login to your WP-Admin area, you can do this by either going to:yourdomain.com/wp-admin or by using the tool inside your wordpress.com account to open this.

WordpresscomDashboard 1

Once inside your WP Admin area, navigate to your sidebar and go to: Tools -> Export.
When the page loads, make sure to enable all the content to be exported (This should be the default setting) and then click "Download Export File.

Screenshot 37

This will download/export a single.xml file which will consist of the data of your whole WordPress site.  This will include blog posts, pages, menus, and much more. 

WordpresscomDashboard 2

Tip: Make sure to save this somewhere you can find it again easily, as you'll need to use this shortly.

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Step 2: Import your WordPress.com XML file

Go to your new WordPress website on your self-hosted account and then import your XML file into your site. You'll need to again, go to your WP admin area to login.

For example Yourdomain.com/wp-admin

Screenshot 38

As before, go to the sidebar, then Tools -> Import. The last option will say "WordPress importer" you will need to install this plugin click "Install now".

WordpresscomDashboard 4

This automatically installs the Import plugin for you, so you can import your XML file and all your content.  Once the plugin has been installed, you can then import your XML file by pressing "Upload File" and then selecting your .XML file.  This will begin uploading all your WordPress content after you decide which author to link this to.

Screenshot 40


You can either:


a) Add an author, the same as you had on wordpress.com
b) Allocate all the imported posts, to a new user which you then create on the import screen and specify
c)Allocate all the posts which have already been imported to an existing author on your wordpress.org (Self-hosted) site.

WordpresscomDashboard 5

Before running the import, you'll want to make sure you've enabled to import all the media and file attachments.  This will bring across all the media inside your posts. You undoubtedly should do this, to maintain your articles from breaking.

The moment you've done that, click Submit, and then WordPress will shift everything over. Depending exactly on the size of your WordPress website, this could take a little time.

Step 3: Check your site for any kind of mistakes.

We're now at the final steps of the WordPress.com to WordPress.org migration. If you've completed with every one of the instructions, the web content of your site must look very similar. However, it's still an excellent workflow to make sure all the web content, especially photos, was effectively imported. Huge internet sites could be specifically vulnerable to dropping some content, therefore monitoring this is actually never a bad suggestion.

Step 4: Point your WordPress.com web site to your WordPress.org website.

The moment you've confirmed that all your information came through correctly, you should now redirect your WordPress.com website to your new self-hosted website. You need to make sure your SEO ranking stay intact, so your site still sticks in the search engine results page.


However, this is not complimentary. WordPress charges a little fee of $13/year expense for this solution and allows you to point your WordPress.com domain to an external WordPress installation.

https://wordpress.com/domains/add/site-redirect/

Redirect your web page within your WordPress.com control panel. Enter your brand-new domain name in the box, click on Go, as well as take care of the payment.

WordpresscomDashboard 6

Alternatively, you can simply transfer your domain out from your registrar (If you own your own domain name), and transfer this to your new WordPress.org blog which is just a transfer fee cost, but you normally receive a year added on to your expiry for free. If you don't own a domain name, you can purchase one from a domain registrar.

You can view our discounted domains here: Domains

WordpresscomDashboard 7


Once your site is up and working on your self-hosted WordPress account, you can either delete, or "hide" your old WordPress.com site via your control panel, or by going to the "reading" setting inside your WP Admin area and setting the site to "Private".

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A few things to consider when migrating your site from WordPress.com:

  • The migration won't be able to bring across your theme as this is set elsewhere, and not within the actual XML file.
  • You'll need to make sure to install and activate the theme from the WordPress repository or online if you want to carry on using the same theme.
  • If you feel like you've missed some of the WordPress.com functionality and experience, then you can use Jetpack which is built by WordPress.com this allows some of your accustomed WordPress.com features.

Thirdly, you may find you need to update your URL's directly inside your WordPress admin area.  This can be done by a plugin which updates URLs such as better search and replace.

Overall, It is actually remarkably straight-forward to move WordPress.com to WordPress.org. 

As mentioned earlier, if you'd like a fully managed migration, free of charge, then our expert team here are more than happy to export, import and get you set up at Snappy host.

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